I often have my MP3 player on as I walk to the gym. The song, "Monkey On A String" by Ethel Smith came on, and I smiled to myself. Those my age and older who grew up in Chicago would instantly recognize the song as the theme of "Garfield Goose and Friends", a popular local kids' show that ran from the mid 1950's to the mid 1970's. I had never known the name of the song until I heard it played on a program on Loyola University's radio station - "The Comedy Express" - over a week ago. I found it on iTunes and brought it. Happy memories of myself and my late younger siblings watching that show daily after school crossed my mind as I made my way to the gym.
The temperatures were a little cool in the gym, but warmer than the atmosphere at church, where Pastor Roger and I are still frosty towards each other. At least I was able to work in my office, where the walls have been painted, and the floor has been replaced. It looks very nice, and a lot brighter in that room where it used to be.
Rich came in, and it was very good to see him. He sparred with Louis, who also hadn't been in the gym in awhile. Rich looked good in the ring. But Louis didn't look bad, either. Rich caught Louis with a lot of shots, but Louis slipped and ducked a lot of the other ones.
I noticed that Louis often got caught up in the corners. Rich cut off the ring a lot, so Louis had to be creative about getting away from him.
In the photo above, Alan gives Louis some pointers before the bell rang.
I sparred with Colonel for the first time. Colonel had told me that he wanted me to make him move around the ring by chasing him and staying on him. I was a bit apprehensive about sparring with him. Colonel's had some health issues over the past few months, and I didn't want to do anything that would hurt him. But Colonel insisted he was fine, so we got into the ring. I got him right on the chin a couple of times with my right. I kept going for the body, too, but I deliberately did not put full force behind any of my punches.
We did a couple of rounds, and that was enough for Colonel. He was moving around a lot, and at one point, Colonel did a very slick slip to avoid a right I threw. I told Colonel that I now know where his son, Kenny, gets a lot of his moves from. "I didn't hurt you, did I? I just gave a few love taps," Colonel laughed. He pointed out that he knew that's all I was giving out as well. "Next time, I really want you to hit me," he said.